Oversight Federal Activity Updated November 29, 2012
Risks in Research
Identify mechanisms that ensure that the risks of research in synthetic biology, including for human subjects and other affected parties, are not unfairly or unnecessarily distributed.
Risks in research should not be unfairly or unnecessarily borne by certain individuals, subgroups, or populations. As part of the coordinated approach urged in Recommendation 4, the Executive Office of the President should lead an interagency evaluation of current requirements and alternative models to identify mechanisms that ensure that the risks of research in synthetic biology, including for human subjects and other affected parties, are not unfairly or unnecessarily distributed. Relevant scientific, academic, and research communities, including those in the private sector, should be consulted. This review should be completed within 18 months and the results made public.
- Executive Office of the President
- The Emerging Technologies Interagency Policy Coordination Committee was formed in 2010 to give special attention to new and emerging technologies, such as synthetic biology, and to examine their policy implications.
- Friends of the Earth published a September 2010 report, Synthetic Solutions to the Climate Crisis: The Dangers of Synthetic Biology for Biofuels Production, which addressed concerns with using synthetic biology to develop next-generation fuels.
- The Friends of the Earth published a March 2012 report, Principles for the Oversight of Synthetic Biology, which criticized the Commission’s stance on research risks and called for a moratorium on release and commercial use of the technology.